Monday, April 30, 2007

Up to my eyes.....

in projects and in various stages. Although I complain just a little bit about all the things I have to do, I am not sure I would know what to do with myself if I had some free time.

And yet, I create even more things to do and my mind is constantly racing on an idea for the next one. So much to do and so little time. I try to condition myself to be one of those ones that don't need a lot of sleep. I love to stay up late and love to sleep in but I feel so guilty that I had wasted the day away if I sleep in past 8. My youngest, Madeleine, is 9 years old now so we do get the luxury of not having to get up at the crack of dawn even on our days off.
My third child, Dylan, he sleeps in until 1 on the weekends. You would think that would drive me nuts, but I figure his time will come so sleep while you can honey. Now as for my oldest daughter, Elisabeth, she too use to sleep in when she lived at home. The only reason I would let her sleep the entire day away is that it was just easier on me. She is my most vocal child and I simply loved it when she rested her mouth. What is it about daughters? I have 4 children. 2 girls (9 years and 22 years old) and 2 sons (17 and 25 years). My sons you can't drag a complete paragraph out of them whereas my daughters you can't run fast enough to get away from the constant yakking. I never never ever had a moment of peace when my daughters are around. Never. I couldn't even take a shower or go to the bathroom in peace. They would be knocking at the door and the would be yelling in the crack of the door some inaudible extremely urgent question like where's my socks or something.

I digress...projects. So many I want to do, so many things I want to learn and so many classes to take. All I need is the time.

Friday, April 27, 2007

Good night chair

Folie a Deux

Some pictures taken by a fellow shop owner, Paul Uhl, who is a photographer, of our shop Folie a Deux. Collectively we are called "The Middle Floor Merchants". He took pictures of most of the shops and we now have a Myspace website. I will have the link posted to the right. Nothing great right now, but it's a start.

In August I am on the decorating committee for our Prom Night. The theme will be "One Night in Bangkok". Couldn't we all have come up with something a bit more easier to decorate?? I have some researching to do. We are going with a vintage Bangkok meets American 50's sort of theme. Will definitely be a challenge. Anyone with ideas, I would certainly love to hear them.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Good night Stella


I cannot photograph food. Not to mention I think I need my eyes re-examined!
So here is the Caesar. At the request of my sister, she wanted lots of croutons. Granted.
In the summer is when I like Caesar salads the best. I like to top it off with grilled Lemon Garlic Prawns or steak marinated in rosemary, garlic and red wine. Making my mouth water thinking about it. By the end of summer I am so tired of making it because so many people request it. So now my taste buds (and hands from cutting the artisan bread) are ready for the season.

Green grass

Break in the weather today, took this picture of part of the back yard from the deck. It's amazing how well it looks from a distance. I neglected my beds last year and this year they are full of grass. Doh! See that I left the cord out from yesterday. I never seem to put everything away. Always a tool left in the dirt, a cord, the lawnmower, etc. I have more rusty tools than anything. I think I work for hours in the yard and when I'm done, I'm done.

This is the best time of year for my yard. Everything so green and either getting ready to bloom or in bloom. Come summer, not so green. It gets pretty hot here. At least to me. Even though I am part Hawaiian, the perfect temperature for me is about 70'.

Stormy day...

Having a cup of Green Ginger tea and enjoying the stormy weather here. I am so glad I got all my weed eating & mowing done yesterday.
Was going to take a picture of my Caesar last night & my batteries went dead so will have to take one today. I am curious how it will look. There is such an art in just presenting things to photography.
Here is another one of my Laurie's. I am an out of control collector of all her work. I shamelessly have about 45-48 of her paintings and Wall Dolls. Isn't this painting cute? The cat looks like my kitty Sabrina. Just love the basket of kittens.
Got back from the nursery as well and bought some herbs. My FAVORITE herb to cook with is Majoram. It is so lovely to add to goulash and to stuff under the skin of a whole chicken.
I shall return later today.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Sunday..a day of rest

How I wish. Sundays seem to be my
crunch day. All the things that I hoped to accomplish and hadn't needs to be done today.
My husband, Ron, has been on a business trip to New Orleans for two weeks. I had such plans on what I was going to do while he's gone. I was going to totally gut the garage and edit putting things back in. While he's gone. That was the key. I (I wish WE) have a rule...if you haven't touched it in 5 years, it really may need to be gotten rid of. We haven't been able to park a car in there for 10 years. I have visions of moving my studio to the garage where I can have a huge long farmer's table to work on. Right now I have the old master bedroom, which is big, but I ran out of space quickly.
Ron is back today and my best layed ( or is it laid??)plans are out the window. Oh well. I am just glad he's coming home. So tonight we will barbeque up some steaks and I will make Caesar salad with my own dressing and homemade croutons. My friends rave about my Caesar salads. It is very tasty. I made it once for our office of 100 and knocked their socks off! HEY! I have a blog now. I will take a picture of it tonight!!

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Good night Angel

Aunty Priscilla

I credit my Aunt with my love of cooking. When I returned to Hawaii after I graduated, I lived at my Aunt's house. My cousin Carol and I had a room with our own entrance and bathroom. Life was good.

Every morning before leaving for work, she would have breakfast made for us and when we returned, dinner was on the table. I was so very surprised that, at least the 9 months I was there, she never had a stove fire. She had this peculiar method of keeping her stove clean. She would lift the silver thingys up around the element & line newspaper up all around it. It sure did the job but what a fire hazard. She had been doing it for decades so she had it down to a science.

My Aunt hummed and la di da'd all the time. It made me happy to be in the same room with her. She loved the Mike Douglas and the Dinah Shore Show. I too became to love them.

My cousin, Father Scott, cares for her. She has Alzheimers now for 6 years. The last time she was up here I played music from the war years for her. She was so happy, sang alot of the songs & said that those were the happy years for her. She is such a beautiful woman.

It's funny how a terrible disease like Alzheimer's can be a curse and a blessing. It has protected her from retaining the memory and feeling the long term hurt of losing her daughter Carol to breast cancer in July.

Folie a Deux

Not thrilled with these pictures. That statue in the first picture is something that we just got & have to take home to finish someone's paint job on it. The first two pictures are of one room and the third is the second room. They were two shops and the owner of the building put a french door size opening between the two for us to double the space.
Next week Lee and I want to make it to a barn sale at Willow Nest. It's about 2 hours + from Tacoma in Washougal, Wa by the Columbia River. I will put a link to the right. It's hard to find things for a cheap price to pass it along to customers anymore. What once was everyone's junk is now alot of people's treasures.

Lynn Whipple

In the Great NW, today is just beautiful. I know we are known for our rain but the rain has it's pay off. We are much like England here. Weather wise that is.
A great day to get outside and do some weeding. Nah.
Going to the shop today and I will take some pictures. The ones I have are of November (except the one below). It is a very cute shop, if I say so myself, but so many people that come in say so too so it must be so.
Here is 2 of my Lynn Whipple "Ninnies" is what she calls them. Aren't they just bizarre but loveable? That is what I love about them. Just a touch over the line out there. Website link to the right!

Friday, April 13, 2007

Good night Marion

Calvary Cemetery

I love cemeteries. Catholic cemeteries. Old Catholic cemeteries. Love the religious statues. Some have pictures of their loved ones on the headstone. Just love it. There is one in particular that I go to. It's in Tacoma on Orchard. Now having been to Europe and seeing the cemeteries there, ours is nothing, but the Calvary Cemetery is the closest one to my memories of what they were like.
I am off on Mondays and last year during the spring I would go and walk around. I took many pictures there, laying down under the statutes to get a different angle. The groundskeepers began to get use to my quirkiness. I would walk around and (this is a bit weird) read their names on the tombstones out loud. I wonder how long had it been since anyone has ever said their name out loud. Some have been gone for 80-100 years. Where ever they are, do they hear me? Do they get a tingle or a warm feeling that someone had just actually said their name out loud. It's just so peaceful there. Landscaping is beautiful and the have the most beautiful peegee hydrangeas there.

Kitty looks like my Sabrina

Darn, this picture I couldn't/didn't photograph so well.

This is another one of my favorite's of Laurie Meseroll's. Who am I kidding....they all are.

You can purchase them from Jen O'Conner at She will do layaway! Now that is the best way to buy art! Remember Laurie is listed on Jen's site under "Mudcakes".

The little girl is holding a kitty that looks like our Sabrina. She was the runt of the litter but she is the feistiest one. She has no fear and everything fears her little scrappy thin body. She is the great huntress (which I don't like and she knows when I am not happy if she has a bird when I reach for the hose). In contrast, there is her sister Gorbie. She must weigh 25 pounds & just is one huge snowball. She can only catch bugs. She has never had to be hosed.


Sorry, about the glare on this one. I scanned an old tintype, a little bit of tinting, applied some grunge brushes & wings glued the print about 16x20 to canvas and then of course brushed beeswax on it.

I can't figure out if her face is haunting or pi**ed off. She almost has the look of Mona Lisa. Something brewing in that brain of hers. Maybe her husband forgot to put the seat down (even in out houses, don't they have or had seats??). Or she is just so tired of working all day and the last thing she wanted was to sit veeerrrrry still for a photo.

I noticed that in most early pictures, no one smiled. Is it because they all had such bad teeth? I think it's because they really had to keep still for a few minutes for the picture to take so there was a greater success rate if they didn't smile (which sometimes if you smiled to long you begin to twitch and then caused a blur). That's my take on it anyway.

Gone Walking

Another one of my Laurie paintings. I love the
colors and textures.
This painting is so rich and fabulous in person. You have to see one in person to get the full impact of one.
Laurie mentioned that she may do some landscapes. I am hoping one day for a mermaid. Fingers crossed. Hint hint Laurie! Please visit her website Mudcakes and at Earthangelstoys. Links are to the right.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Good night Madge, Ingrid, Emily and Ellen!

Fading Memories par deux

Here is my Aunty Priscilla. She's not lost or forgotten but the look on her face is so grim that I had to use it in the series.

All the pictures I have taken over the years, I wonder where they will be in 50 or 100 years. Will they still be in our family? Will someone understand the importance of family history? I hope one of my children will have the same passion and a bit of fear of that I have of being forgotten. Even if it means just opening a photo album once a year and looking back on all the relatives and remembering. I think their souls feel it when we remember or speak their name.

Fading Memories

I am facinated with vintage photos. It breaks my heart to see photos at a garage sale, ebay, antique stores, etc. I wonder where are the family of these folks? Why aren't these old pictures a family treasure? These are forgotten lost souls.

I put together a collection of these photos and purposely blurred them to make it look like they were a fading memory. They were lost and looking for someone that would love them again. One group of the photos I put behind panes of glass on a huge old window. Souls looking into the world of the living. Wanting to be remembered again.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Good Night Madeleine

Mmmmm....Vietnamese Spring Rolls

Here is what I had for lunch. I can't get enough of fresh spring rolls, Pho and Bahn Mi.
I tried to artfully to arrange them but didn't quite get it. Especially with the tape dispenser in the background. I so admire another blog (that I didn't get permission to link) called the Passionate Eater's pictures that I thought I will try and post one. Think I will stick to what I had been doing.
They were so delicious. Vien Dong in Tacoma makes the best spring rolls. I have to have lime & my fav chili sauce with them. 2 limes & one container hot sauce per roll. Making my mouth water right now.

A Bit of Folie a Deux

The shop that my business partner and I own is called "Folie a Deux". It's downtown Tacoma in Sanford and Son. Sanford and Son is a 3 story antique store. On the second floor, Alan, the owner, created shops, about 20 of them. We started out with one small shop, moved across the hall to a bigger shop & when the next door shop became available Alan took out his reciprocal (is that what it's called?) saw and opened up the wall to combine the 2 shops. We are called collectively "The Middle Floor Merchants".
I fell in love with the name "Folie a Deux" when I first heard it on a X-Files episode. It is a
condition in which symptoms of a mental disorder, such as the same delusional beliefs or ideas, occur simultaneously in two. A shared madness. I knew that if I ever owned a shop, this was the name.

Paris in her Bones

This kind of reminds me of that British show back in the 60's. I think it was a spin-off of "Secret Agent Man" called "The Prisoner". The actor was Patrick McGohan. At the end of the opening credits, just his face zooms up to the TV screen and bars slam shut. Maddie's head reminds me of that. That was a very British show. Weird, quirky and mod. Ha. Mod. How often do you hear that word anymore.

I remember watching those shows and also "The Avengers". We were in Germany when I first saw it and in German it was called "Mit Schrim Charme und Melone". I have no idea why I remembered that. I do know that "schrim" is an umbrella, can't remember the rest. I think alot of us young girls at the time wanted to be Emma Peel. She was so cool.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Good night shoes

Shoes. Obsession with shoes. I use to, then 4 kids came along. Now I am down to 2 living at home and I don't think I could ever get my foot back into something fashionable. My feet are too use to "sensible" and "reasonable". Ugh....I've gotten old. No matter, I never leave a pair of shoes on my feet for very long anyway. Prefer to be barefoot. Gotta be the Hawaiian in me.
Good night.

Lips Like Sugar

My friend, Gretchen Bailey, and I collaborated on 3 collages in February. We had a "Forlorn" art show in Sanford and Son. We used this picture I took of the dolls lips in a encaustic collage. I moved up from plain beeswax to beeswax with damar resins. Makes the beeswax harder and it polishes up so beautifully. I have to get a photo of our completed project. You can kind of see it on the wall in the Bit of Folie a Deux post.
I had just read this evening on Faeriewindow blog that it is proper etiquette to ask someone if they would like to link. I had no clue and I apologize for linking people without asking. Now should I remove them? Nah, I think I will just ask from now on.
Lori from asked if we can link. Thank you, yes!

Catholic Wannabe

Another day, another picture. This is my favorite one. Same kids that I posted with Folie a Deux on it but used this in another wax collage. I have such a thing for vintage Communion pictures.

I have always been a Catholic wannabe. I had a friend in grade school who was Catholic and I would go to church with her sometime and was just in awe of all the ceremony and the religious art. My dad's family was Catholic and my cousin, Father Scott, a priest in Hawaii. Never ever would have thought he would of choose that path with his love of the party life. He became a priest I think in his early thirties.

I remember one night my cousin Carol and I were sitting in her parents living room. It was about 2 am and we just got home. Shortly thereafter, Scott also came home & literally fell onto the sofa. About 30 minutes later, there was a knock at the door. It was the police. The officer asked who's car was in the driveway. I looked over his shoulder to see a Scott's car with his fender missing. That was in the street. He apparently side swiped many cars on their street coming home. I woke up my uncle, who luckily worked for the Honolulu Police Department, and somehow things got straightened out. This was a usual occurrence for the now Father Scott. I guess since he had such an "adventurous" life he can give good life experience advise.

Monday, April 9, 2007

Good night Lulu

More art stuff

Took pictures of a doll, grunged them up with brushes, dipped in wax glued to vintage french ledger paper & glued to painted canvas & dipped in wax again. Thought I was loading these at the bottom of this entry, but guess not. Still such a novice at this.

Another assemblage of my youngest daughter. Got a thing for wings and hats. Everything (except the box and moss) is dipped or brushed with beeswax. I discovered beeswax from Claudine Hellmuth about 4 or 5 years ago. Her website is I have 2 pots of wax in my studio and when they are on, they fill the house with the most beautiful smell. It's more of a fall smell for me. I guess I tend to do it more in the fall & winter because of the added heat to my studio. One pot is clear wax and the other natural.
I was fortunate enough to take a class from Claudine when she was in Washington. She is such a sweet person and she just blew me away when she said she thought she sucked sometimes. Even an artist like her had her doubts about her work when working with the likes of Teesha Moore, Judi Reisch (favorite assemblagist (is this right?), Lynn Perrella, Sarah Fishburn and Lynn Whipple (another one of my all time fav's So I guess even when you are established those doubts never do go away.

After all these entries, I will have to go back to writing about my cousin. The weather has given me such a rush of energy and a sense of well being.

Ta-da! I figured it out how to drag the picture to where you want it. Now, if I can only remember it tomorrow! Ha.
I love Hens and Chicks or Chicks and Hens, whatever, however you or they are called. I call them Chicks and Hens. Succulents. I have them tucked everywhere. This was taken today. I found this salvaged piece of concrete tube and fill them with my little chickies.

Great Uncle Leonhardt Kamm

My artistic side must of come from
my mother's side (according to my mom, all good is from her side, everything else, it's your father's side). This is a painting hanging in my living room by my great uncle. For the life of me right now I can't think of his first name! Just called my mother (I can never just get an answer to a question, had to listen to some complaining about my niece first), Leonhardt Kamm. He painted it in 1923 and the woman is supposedly of my grandmother. But I think I saw this painting in a book once. I'm not sure, but I love it.

I am always amazed at painters. How they can take a blank canvas and make
it come alive. Wish I had that much
talent. I didn't start creating until I
was in my early 40's. Gasp, I
will be 50 this fall. Time has certainly
flown by.

I am so new to this blogging that I
wish I could move the pictures myself. Anyone know if that's
possible? Also would like to make
my own background and banner. Is
that what it's called?

Favorite artist, Laurie Meseroll

I am fortunate enough to own this one and about 50 more! Yes, I have an obsession with Laurie.
Laurie and I have been emailing back and forth today. I am ecstatic when I catch her online and we can "talk". She is this wonderful, funny and immensely talented woman. I have yet to meet her. But one day soon. I would love to see her come up to the NW for a show. She is right up Teesha Moore's alley and hoping to put a major bug in Teesha's ear and come up with some sort of Fall event.
You must check out her website but she is updating it BUT you can purchase her work under Mudcakes at Jen's website She has many more artists there but my preference is of course Laurie.

No, it's not Anna Nicole!

Seem to be on a roll today. Kids aren't home and all is quiet. Bite my tongue.

I don't get much alone time so I am just loving the computer to myself!!

OMG, I was going through my pictures to see which ones to post and I SWEAR that this was taken waaaay before the Anna Nicole one. Check this out. This is my daughter and we were getting her ready for the Animalocity Parade last year in Tacoma. She and her cousin were dressing up and taking our two Yorkie/Poms. I think the deisgner name for them is Yoranians. Or something silly. Anyway, here it is.

All things rusty and old.

Isn't this beautiful? I love rust. So on the side of my driveway, I have 14 of these wonderful old radiators. They were taken from the old (I think it was called) Mecca Hotel in downtown Tacoma. It was above the Mecca theater, which was a porn theater, but has been purchased & is currently being renovated into a pub.

We will be selling them in our store, Folie a Deux, and I will also be using a few in the yard as an interesting divider or something and use some in my house as legs for a table. Get some tempered glass & set it on top. We'll see how that works.
I have so many old windows, a couple of sinks, lots of moulding with wonderful chippy wood all just waiting to become my next project. My kids and husband will be glad when everthing is in use.
I began collecting big old windows in hopes that one day my husband, Ron, will make me a huge greenhouse studio on our flat roof that is over the 80's addition. Then I can gaze at the stars at night while creating. day.

Home Sweet Home

Part of the front yard. My cat Gorbie chewing on some delish new growth of something.
Project number 243 is to redo the concrete whatchamacallit wall. I did the wall all by myself one day. Yep, got a flat bed, went to Home Depot and got about 150 of these babies & took each one out & put it up my raised bed myself. Who thought you would have to kind of support it so it wouldn't slope as years went by.
The wisteria will be in full bloom at the end of the month. It just drapes off the walkway to my front door & I have it all intertwined with white Christmas lights so it just glows at night. Love twinkle lights. It's all over my yard, tucked everywhere.